An attack by Boko Haram insurgents on Michika town of Adamawa State on Monday night claimed many lives and left many more injured, fleeing residents have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The military high command in Abuja had confirmed the attack in a statement by the director of Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa.
According to Mr Musa, an army Colonel, the attack on Michika by Boko Haram was effectively repelled to by government troops whom he said inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers.
But residents of the town said the attackers did not only force them to flee their homes but also killed many.
According to witnesses who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on phone, many displaced residents of Michika fled to Mubi, Uba and some to Yola, the state capital, as the attackers shot sporadically, loot houses and set buildings ablaze.
One witness, who identified himself as Bala, said he knew four people who were killed.
"I can confirm to you that many people were killed last night and many were injured as well," said Bala, who did give a second name.
"I may not know all of those who lost their lives but I am sure of four persons whom I know personally, that were killed in the attack.
"My aunt's husband and their daughter were killed. I also know of a retired soldier and local businessman that were killed in front of their houses."
Another resident, who would not want to be named for fear of his safety said many people may have lost their lives or be injured and left stranded in the bush because their relatives had not been able to get in touch with them since.
"As I am talking to you now, people are still on the run, some going as far as Yola because people fear of the attack spreading to neighbouring towns of Baza and others," he said.
In its statement, the military said the attack was repelled and Boko Haram attackers "were completely routed... and many neutralized", even though none of their corpses were recovered".
The army spokesman's statement was also silent on civillian casualties as well as the displacement of the residents.
Residents said they did not witness a rapid response by troops.
Colonel Musa's statement reads:
"Troops Repel BHT Attack on Michika in Adamawa State. BHTs met their Waterloo and suffered heavy casualties yesterday evening 18 March 2019 when they attempted to infiltrate Michika in Adamawa State.
At about 7.20 pm, gallant troops of 115 Task Force Battalion deployed at Lassa in Borno State received a distress call from vigilantes at Maikadiri village on movement of suspected BHTs along Road Maikadiri - Shuwari enroute Michika.
"Consequently, the gallant troops with reinforcement from 143 Battalion Gulak engaged the terrorists on Two Front Coordinated Attacks. The BHTs were completely routed by the troops, neutralizing many of them while others fled in disarray due to superior firepower.
"As a result, they hastily evacuated most of their corpses under the cover of darkness. The entire area has been dominated by own troops and the situation is completely under control. Items captured from the terrorists include One Ford vehicle, two Toyota Starlet vehicles loaded with foodstuffs, one motorcycle and one tyre inflating machine. Further exploitation is to be conducted this morning.
"Calm has since returned to the city and inhabitants of the town are hereby enjoined to report the presence of strange faces in their localities and go about their normal businesses."